It isn’t as binary of a decision as we make it out to be.
There are gap years, associates programs, satellite campuses, online degrees, skill-based boot camps, and more. There are many options when it comes to continuing education beyond your senior year in high school.
Not all of them require $50k per year, but many of them come with similar upsides, just without the full stack of benefits. You may not have the greek life, the dining hall, the walk to the gym, the sports teams and everything else that is written into lore at four year institutions.
The question is, does that make the learning better? Or is it placebo?
And for the parts that truly are better, how can you use the 30k per year that you save to make up the gap?
With that money you could… rent a co-working space, take mentors to coffee, get tutored by a grad student, travel the country, launch a research project and much more. None of which involve going to college and all of which could involve high quality learning.